Cruise Bear Island, Norway

Introduction to Cruise Bear Island

Bear Island is the southernmost island of Norway's remote Svalbard archipelago, located within the Arctic Circle some 450km north of Tromsø. Barren yet beautiful, Bear Island is largely uninhabited and is one of only a few protected nature reserves in the Arctic.

This beautiful island in the Barents Sea was first discovered in June 1596 by Willem Barents and fellow Dutch explorer Jacob van Heemskerk who named it Bear Island after spotting a polar bear here. Since its discovery, the island served as an important base for whale, seal and walrus hunting in the 17th century and was once home to a busy coal mining station. These settlements didn't stay for long however and today the island's only inhabitants are a small group of people that study local weather and sea conditions at the meteorological centre.

As one of only a few protected Arctic nature reserves, Bear Island boasts breathtaking untouched landscapes and an abundance of wildlife. Despite the island's name, it's unlikely you'll see polar bears here anymore – although they do occasionally float by on drifting icebergs – however you're sure to spot some of the northern hemisphere's largest seabird colonies perched on the magnificent cliffs as you sail along the island's striking shores. Be sure to keep an eye out for arctic foxes, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales and various seal species too.

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For more information, or to book, call us on 0800 0355 130 562-546-4800

Sorry there are currently no shore tours for this port.

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